8.29.2022

NASA's Big Day, Burning Man, and Tinder's Ten Years Everything you need to know for today in five minutes.

Good morning. It's Monday, Aug. 29, and we're covering the first step in returning humans to the moon, the annual launch of an iconic music and arts festival, and much more. Have feedback? Let us know at [email protected].

 

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NEED TO KNOW

 

To the Moon and Back

NASA is scheduled to launch its Artemis 1 rocket today, the initial step in the agency's plan to return Americans to the moon for the first time in more than five decades. 

 

The Artemis program has been viewed as one of the agency's most ambitious in recent memory—it marks the first use of NASA's massive Space Launch System (see 101) and has been viewed as a precursor to possible human travel to Mars

 

Phase 1, the current launch, will send an uncrewed Orion capsule around the moon and back to Earth while serving as a test for the SLS. Artemis 2, scheduled for 2024, will include crew on the same flyby, while Artemis 3 is tentatively set to return humans to the moon's surface the following year.

 

The launch is scheduled for 8:33 am ET today (watch live). The weather in Cape Canaveral, Florida, calls for a 30% chance of rain—backup dates are scheduled for Sept. 2 and Sept. 5. See the vehicle's trajectory here

Ukraine Nuclear Plant

Russian forces continued shelling the area near the Zaporizhzhia nuclear power plant over the weekend, raising fears of an incidental strike on the facility or nearby units storing nuclear fuel or radioactive waste. The plant is Europe's largest nuclear facility and represents one of the world's top 10 most powerful nuclear power stations.

 

The plant in southeastern Ukraine has been controlled by Russian forces since the beginning of the war six months ago. It sits along the southern bank of the Dnieper River (see map), which has also acted as a natural barrier to Russian advances, with the region north of the river being contested. 

 

International nuclear groups are reportedly in talks to visit the site for evaluation, while some estimates suggest a direct strike may spread nuclear fallout across Western Europe.

 

See updates on the war here

Burning Man Begins

The annual nine-day Burning Man gathering began yesterday in the Black Rock Desert 100 miles north of Reno, Nevada. Over 80,000 participants—at $575 per ticket—are estimated to be in attendance at the gathering, famous for its free-spirited activities and extreme camping conditions.

 

Continuing a tradition that first started in 1986, the annual Nevada event draws tens of thousands to the bike-friendly 7-square-mile temporary city. Participants must bring everything they need to survive in the desert, with summer heat often tipping into near-freezing temperatures at night. The principles of inclusion and self-reliance, among others, guide the itinerary and behavior, where campers can opt to stay in themed villages and vending is banned.

 

Its name derives from the week's main event, where a 40-foot tall wooden man atop a 30-foot structure is set ablaze. Read a list of this year's wildest planned events, and check out photos of the days leading up to this year's event.

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IN THE KNOW

 

Sports, Entertainment, & Culture

In partnership with The Ascent

> Hawaii tops Curaçao 13-3 to win 2022 Little League Baseball World Series (More) | 1952 Mickey Mantle baseball card sells for a record $12.6M at auction (More)

 

> Taylor Swift's "All Too Well" wins top prize at 2022 MTV Video Music Awards for Video of the Year with Bad Bunny winning Artist of the Year (More) | Britney Spears releases duet with Elton John, her first new recording in six years (More)

 

> Rory McIlroy edges Scottie Scheffler to win PGA Tour Championship and $18M in prize money; McIlroy wins record third FedEx Cup title (More) | Rookie punter Matt Araiza released by Buffalo Bills following rape accusation (More)

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Science & Technology

> New federal policy to require any study supported by federal funds to be openly accessible at no charge beginning in 2026 (More)

 

> Brain region responsible for altruistic decisions to help others identified; separate from the region responsible for deciding to take physically demanding actions to help oneself, new study finds (More)

 

> Research reveals mucus, which acts as a barrier against infections in the respiratory system, evolved by incorporating non-mucus proteins more than a dozen times (More)

Business & Markets

> US stock markets close lower Friday (S&P 500 -3.4%, Dow -3.0%, Nasdaq -3.9%) after Fed Chairman Jerome Powell’s Jackson Hole, Wyoming, speech warns inflation may bring “pain” (More)

 

> Sources say Panasonic is in talks to build $4B electric vehicle battery plant in Oklahoma; Panasonic is a Tesla battery supplier (More)

 

> Shares of Electronic Arts surged 15% Friday on rumors Amazon may acquire the video game maker but retreated to close up 4% after sources said Amazon is not expected to make an offer (More)

Politics & World Affairs

> US Navy sails two warships through Taiwan Strait Sunday; first routine transit since US House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit to Taiwan earlier this month, defying Chinese warnings (More

 

> Abbott to resume producing its most popular baby formula, Similac, at Michigan plant after six-month pause due to contamination; product expected to hit shelves in six weeks (More

 

> US intelligence chief to assess security risks involved with former President Donald Trump's retention of classified documents at Mar-a-Lago (More) | Florida judge intends to allow independent review of materials to determine what may fall under executive privilege (More)

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ETCETERA

 

Ten years of Tinder.

 

Wyoming lake reveals 50-million-year-old treasures.

 

Mapping America's restaurant chains.

 

The best US cities for new grads.

 

Watch a levanter cloud sweep over the Rock of Gibraltar.

 

Taking a field sobriety test in style

 

Kansas zoo grapples with a 500-pound escape artist.

 

... while a Thai zoo's escape drill goes viral.

 

Clickbait: Nightmare fuel slithers into a British bedroom.

 

Historybook: "Casablanca" actress Ingrid Bergman born, dies (1915, 1982); Senator John McCain born (1936); Michael Jackson born (1958); Netflix is founded (1997); Hurricane Katrina makes landfall in Louisiana, kills more than 1,800 (2005).

 

"In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test."

- John McCain

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